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Commentary - Year 2 Sabbath 36

Leviticus 15:1-33   -   [No Prophet]   -   Psalm 80  -   Philippians 3:1-21
 

 

Kislev 11, 5763 / Nov 16, 2002

Kislev   9, 5766 / Dec 10, 2005

Kislev   9, 5769 / Dec   6, 2008

Kislev   7, 5772 / Dec   3, 2011

Kislev   7, 5775 / Nov 29, 2014

 

Ish Ish Chai / When Any Man    SCRIPTURES (should be read first)

 

“Be ye holy, for I am holy” – Leviticus 11:44 & 1 Peter 1:16.

 

In Genesis, we started with Adam in the Garden of Eden / Paradise, and God walked there with him – Genesis 3:8-10. Adam lost Paradise through sin. But later, God established the Tabernacle in the Wilderness as the place where He would meet with man; this would subsequently become the Holy Temple at Jerusalem. These were prophetic types of God’s heavenly dwelling place with man, which will come to Paradise on the renewed earth – Hebrews 8:5 & Revelation 2:7.

 

As we must be holy to enter that future Paradise on earth, so we must indicate our quest for holiness through symbols of holiness to enter the Tabernacle / Temple of this present earth.

 

The general subject of the past several chapters has been distinguishing between clean and unclean. (Leviticus 9:10) “To make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean”. We have studied purification for ordination to the priesthood, kashrut – what is clean for food, and tzaraat – uncleanness for slander,

 

The subject today is . . . purification represented by immersion in a mikvah (baptism). This immersion is a non-public act of going into a stream or pool of water, without any clothing, jewelry, hair ties, etc. Another person may accompany the one being immersed for purposes of safety and verification of total immersion. Immersions may be performed as groups of men or groups of women.

 

In preparation for entering the mikvah, one states his purpose (such as: to certify purification from a certain tumah / impurity). John the baptizer preached “the baptism of repentance for remission of sins” – Mark 1:4 & Luke 3:3: this was properly to be performed every year during the forty days preceding Yom haKippurim / the Day of the Atonements.

 

Upon ascending from the mikvah, one must put on clean clothes. (Leviticus 15:5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 21, 22, 27) “Shall wash his clothes and bathe in water”. “In like figure (a symbolic representation of purification) even baptism does now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the response of a pure conscience toward God)” – 1 Peter 3:21.

 

Of the three categories of commandments (judgments, ordinances, and statutes), baptism is one of the ordinances – acts we perform to portray spiritual truths. Paul told gentiles at Corinth to “keep the ordinances” – 1 Corinthians 11:2.

 

More was lost with Paradise than we begin to understand. Common elements of eating and reproducing became involved with death: animals and man kill to eat, and the reproductive processes bring about more death than life. Some of the male and female “emissions” referred to in this chapter are the results of unfulfilled new life, and others result from sickness: both categories have their origins in the sin of Adam. Thus their stains are not allowed in God’s presence. (Leviticus 15:31) “Thus you shall keep the sons of Israel separated from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by their defiling My tabernacle that is among them.”

 

Adam and Eve, who were presumably the most beautiful people ever, and were healthy enough to live more than 900 years – they had three sons in 130 years. On the basis of present conditions, they could have been expected to have a child about once a year. Did they have 127 daughters in that time? (Can you imagine Adam, with a wife and 127 daughters, living more than 900 years? :) The conclusion is that we lost, in the fall, more than we understand.

 

This should be a clue for us, concerning the holiness of God: not only sin itself, but even the results in us of the fall, must be cured before we can enter His presence. “Who may ascend into the hill of Yahweh? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from Yahweh, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Thy face — even Jacob. Selah” – Psalm 24:3-6 (In the triennial Torah reading cycle used during Second Temple times, Psalm 24 is sung on the Sabbath preceding Yom haKippurim).

 

(Psalm 80:19) “O Yahweh God of hosts, restore us; cause Thy face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.”

 

(Philippians 3:20-21) “For our citizenship is in heaven, from whence also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah;  who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory”.

 

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also – John 14:3.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God – Revelation 21:1-3.

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of its street, and on each side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bore twelve kinds of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him – Revelation 22:1-3.

Leviticus 15 is arranged as a chiasmus (parallel statements, inverted order): they ascend from abnormal to marital, then descend to abnormal.

 

Introduction: discharge is unclean (v.1-2)

    Abnormal male discharge (v.3-15)

        Norman male discharge (v.16-17)

            Marital relations (v.18)

        Normal female discharge (v.19-24)

    Abnormal female discharge (v.25-30)

Conclusion: keep separate from uncleanness (v.31-33)

Purification time:

    After 7 days, evening after mikvah

    evening after mikvah

    evening after mikvah

    evening after 7th day mikvah

    After 7 days, evening after mikvah

 

Seven days after an abnormal discharge is healed, and following immersion in a mikvah, bird offerings must be taken to the priest. In the case of a metzorah, the penitent’s sin was public, and the animal offering was public; it is commendable for a person to display repentance. In the cases in view here, the uncleanness was private, and the bird offerings are performed by a priest, not making the giver public.

 

[Any female discharge beyond seven days is considered abnormal, and the Biblical rules for abnormal would apply. Because the Talmud (Niddah 66a) states that it is often difficult to determine when a woman is niddah (normal discharge) and when she is zavah (abnormal discharge), Orthodox Jewry applies the much more stringent zavah rules to both.]

 

Many people like to perceive these commandments as applicable only to a people of a distant past: if so, if it is ridiculous for us, why would it have been sensible for anyone? These are ordinances – from the category of commandments to perform acts to show spiritual truths. They are part of His unchanging Torah – instruction to His creation.

 

“The  priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them” - Ezekiel 22:26.

 

These instructions will not be accepted by those who think they are “saved” (from what?) by “I believe”, and feel free to live like the rest of the world. They are for those of us who wish to show sorrow for having fallen into sin, and desire to go back to Eden – the promised Paradise. They represent holiness.

 

Readings:

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who chose us from among all peoples by giving us Your Torah.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

 

Reader 1 Amen. 1 Yahweh also spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, 'When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. 3 'This, moreover, shall be his uncleanness in his discharge: it is his uncleanness whether his body allows its discharge to flow or whether his body obstructs its discharge. 4 'Every bed on which the person with the discharge lies becomes unclean, and everything on which he sits becomes unclean. 5 'Anyone, moreover, who touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening; 6 and whoever sits on the thing on which the man with the discharge has been sitting, shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.

Reader 2 Amen. 7 'Also whoever touches the person with the discharge shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 8 'Or if the man with the discharge spits on one who is clean, he too shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 9 'Every saddle on which the person with the discharge rides becomes unclean. 10 'Whoever then touches any of the things which were under him shall be unclean until evening, and he who carries them shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 11 'Likewise, whomever the one with the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 12 'However, an earthenware vessel which the person with the discharge touches shall be broken, and every wooden vessel shall be rinsed in water.

Reader 3 Amen. 13 'Now when the man with the discharge becomes cleansed from his discharge, then he shall count off for himself seven days for his cleansing; he shall then wash his clothes and bathe his body in running water and will become clean. 14 'Then on the eighth day he shall take for himself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and come before Yahweh to the doorway of the tent of meeting and give them to the priest; 15 and the priest shall offer them, one for a sin offering and the other for an elevationt offering. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf before Yahweh because of his discharge. 16 'Now if a man has a seminal emission, he shall bathe all his body in water and be unclean until evening. 17 'As for any garment or any leather on which there is seminal emission, it shall be washed with water and be unclean until evening. 18 'If a man lies with a woman so that there is a seminal emission, they shall both bathe in water and be unclean until evening.

Reader 4 Amen. 19 'When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. 20 'Everything also on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean. 21 'Anyone who touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 22 'Whoever touches any thing on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 23 'Whether it be on the bed or on the thing on which she is sitting, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. 24 'If a man actually lies with her so that her menstrual impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.

Reader 5Amen. 25 'Now if a woman has a discharge of her blood many days, not at the period of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond that period, all the days of her impure discharge she shall continue as though in her menstrual impurity; she is unclean. 26 'Any bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her like her bed at menstruation; and every thing on which she sits shall be unclean, like her uncleanness at that time. 27 'Likewise, whoever touches them shall be unclean and shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.

Reader 6 Amen. 28 'When she becomes clean from her discharge, she shall count off for herself seven days; and afterward she will be clean. 29 'Then on the eighth day she shall take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons and bring them in to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting. 30 'The priest shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for an elevation offering. So the priest shall make atonement on her behalf before Yahweh because of her impure discharge.'

Reader 7 Amen. 31 "Thus you shall keep the sons of Israel separated from their uncleanness, so that they will not die in their uncleanness by their defiling My tabernacle that is among them." 32 This is the law for the one with a discharge, and for the man who has a seminal emission so that he is unclean by it, 33 and for the woman who is ill because of menstrual impurity, and for the one who has a discharge, whether a male or a female, or a man who lies with an unclean woman.

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."

______________________

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who selected good prophets, delighting in their words which were spoken truthfully.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,

and the prophets of truth and righteousness."

 

Psalm 80    (To be sung.)    For the choir director; set to El Shoshannim; Eduth. A Psalm of Asaph.

1 Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who are enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth! 2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Your power and come to save us! 3 O God, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. 4 O Yahweh God of hosts, how long will You be angry with the prayer of Your people? 5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and You have made them to drink tears in large measure. 6 You make us an object of contention to our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves. 7 O God of hosts, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. 8 You removed a vine from Egypt; You drove out the nations and planted it. 9 You cleared the ground before it, and it took deep root and filled the land. 10 The mountains were covered with its shadow, and the cedars of God with its boughs. 11 It was sending out its branches to the sea and its shoots to the River. 12 Why have You broken down its hedges, so that all who pass that way pick its fruit? 13 A boar from the forest eats it away and whatever moves in the field feeds on it. 14 O God of hosts, turn again now, we beseech You; look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine, 15 even the shoot which Your right hand has planted, and on the son whom You have strengthened for Yourself. 16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down; they perish at the rebuke of Your countenance. 17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself. 18 Then we shall not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your name. 19 O Yahweh God of hosts, restore us; cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.

 

Philippians 3:1-21

Reader 8Amen. 1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Messiah Yeshua and put no confidence in the flesh, 4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Messiah. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Messiah Yeshua my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Messiah, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Messiah, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Reader 9Amen. 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Messiah Yeshua. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. 18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Messiah, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

 

"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Rock of Ages, righteous throughout all generations.

You are the faithful God, promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,

for all Your words are true and righteous.

Faithful are You, Yahweh our God, and faithful are Your words,

for no word of Yours shall remain unfulfilled;

You are a faithful and merciful God and King.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."

 


© 2005  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)

 

 

 

 

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